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Books

The mad, mum-fixated maiden aunt of modernism

Marianne Moore slept in the same bed as her mother and dined with her on the edge of the bath-tub — this may have helped her poetry, says Linda Leavell in Holding on Upside Down

7 December 2013

9:00 AM

7 December 2013

9:00 AM

Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore Linda Leavell

Faber, pp.455, £30, ISBN: 9780571301829

Marianne Moore’s poems are notoriously ‘difficult’ but her personality and the circumstances of her life are as fascinating today as they were to the avant-garde writers and artists of 1920s New York. Much of the fascination lies in the contrast between what Linda Leavell calls Moore’s ‘maiden-aunt persona’ and her position as a ground-breaking modernist, whose highly idiosyncratic verse and technical experimentation dazzled and baffled her contemporaries.

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